Beautifully told from 2 perspectives in time, Josephine, formerly enslaved and her descendant, Ava. What this really captures are the voices of those who don’t traditionally have a voice, the ones whose presence have been erased in time as well as the difficult history as to what those voices say. Despite being separated by generations, both women are united in parental love as well as problematic relations with white people who sub (or not) consciously attempt to exert power over them.— Audrey H.
November 2019 Indie Next List
“Set in 1855, 1924, and 2017, this story features Ava, a modern single mother and divorcee who, down on her luck, moves in as a caretaker for her a caretaker for her grandmother, Grandma, whose lingering racism becomes more pronounced as her mind begins to fail. Also told is the story of Ava’s grandmother’s great-grandmother, Josephine, who is a slave as a child and later in life the widowed owner of a 300-acre farm. Ava and Josephine both have the ability to ‘revision,’ seeing into others’ souls and guiding them to a different place. Sexton does a beautiful job of developing her characters while accurately describing the racism that is never far away no matter the time period. This story is loving and devastating in the best way.”
— Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
Following her National Book Award-nominated debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton returns with this equally elegant and historically inspired story of survivors and healers, of black women and their black sons, set in the American South.
In 1925, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free herself from slavery. Now, her new neighbor, a white woman named Charlotte, seeks her company, and an uneasy friendship grows between them. But Charlotte has also sought solace in the Ku Klux Klan, a relationship that jeopardizes Josephine's family.
Nearly one hundred years later, Josephine's descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother Martha, a wealthy but lonely woman who pays her grandchild to be her companion. But Martha's behavior soon becomes erratic, then even threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine's converge.
The Revisioners explores the depths of women's relationships―powerful women and marginalized women, healers and survivors. It is a novel about the bonds between a mother and a child, and the dangers that upend those bonds. At its core, The Revisioners ponders generational legacies, the endurance of hope, and the undying promise of freedom.